Originally Posted by SDW2001
Uh...OK. So the increase affects starving mothers and children, but in the same breath, it only ends up affecting "high school kids." You can't have it both ways.
No. There's two distinct groups of minimum wage workers. Adults struggling to make ends meet and high school students. If you need to cut jobs, and currently employ both, you'll cut the high school students first. History supports this. The adults have worked and will work for you longer, and provide a better ROI for the wages.
So, a low minimum wage hurts the poor, and while minimum wage increases does cause temporary unemployment, this doesn't greatly affect the group most in need of the increases in the first place.
It's also clear you really have no idea about who actually earns minimum wage. The vast majority of minimum wage earners live in households with incomes of $45,000 a year plus.
What did I say about high school kids again? Oh right. We're concerned with poor people. Conflating needy minimum wage earners with well-to-do high school students is meaninglesshigh school kids are clearly the dominant majority here.
That means, simply, that most minimum wage earners are not the sole income earners in their households. There are, from the last information I'm aware of, about two million people earning minimum wage as the the sole income earners. So, the increase will certainly help those people...if they keep their jobs.
I'm curious about the details of that statistic. For example, does it include people earning precisely minimum wages, or does it go slightly higher? Do you remember where you got that from?
But they very well may not. Most entry level, non-skilled positions already pay significantly more than the minumum. Fast food restaurants often start at $7.00 or more per hour...right now. Now I know what you'll say...that's not a livable wage. But the minimum wage is not intended to be a livable wage. It's intended to be the minimum legal compensation. It exists to prevent near-slave labor, to set a standard that promotes human dignity. My argument is simply this...$5.85 an hour does just that.
This is where we disagree. The minimum wage needs to be a living wage, and insofar as I can tell, was always intended to be one.
As for how it will cause unemployment, well guess what? It will. A personal anecdote: My father recently heard from a friend of his that owns a small business. He has several employees who are currently making $8.00 an hour (I don't recall what it is they do). As soon as the minimum wage passed, they went to the owner and immediately wanted a $2.00 an hour raise. Can you blame them? Of course not. This owner now believes he may have to reduce his workforce. This is the real effect of boosting the mimum wage. It will marginally help the small portion of the workforce (less than 2%). It will also reduce the number of jobs available...some of which (I'd argue most of which) already pay more than the minimum.
Midwinter responded here most eloquantly.